Objective: Conventional surgery for varicose veins due to small saphenous reflux is associated with high recurrence rates (up to 50%), many resulting from inadequate surgery. This prospective audit examines the safety and efficacy of EVLA in the treatment of this. Method: 65 patients (68 limbs) with varicosities due to primary or recurrent sapheno-popliteal junction (SPJ) and small saphenous vein (SSV) reflux underwent out-patient EVLA (810 nm diode laser). The SSV was ablated from mid-calf to the SPJ. Symptomatic improvement (Aberdeen Varicose Vein Severity Score [AVVSS]), time to return to normal activity, post-EVLA analgesic requirements, and complications were recorded. Results: Duplex ultrasound follow-up (median 6-months) confirmed abolition of SPJ/SSV reflux in all limbs following a median total laser energy delivery of 1131J (IQR 928-1364) at an energy density of 66.3 Joules/cm (IQR 54.2-71.6). AVVSS improved from 15.4 (IQR 11.8-19.7) to 4.6 (IQR 3.2-6.7) at three months (p < 0.001). Median analgesia requirement was 3 days (23% [15/65] patients required none) and the median time to normal activity was 0 (0-4) days (65% [42/65] returning to normal daily activity immediately). There were no instances of skin burns or DVT but 3 patients (4.4%) developed transient cutaneous numbness (sural nerve). 98% (64/65) patients would undergo EVLT again. Conclusions: EVLA abolished SPJ/SSV reflux in all limbs. This is likely to be more effective than conventional surgery, although long-term follow up is required. Data from a randomised control trial would be desirable. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Theivacumar, N. S., Beale, R. J., Mavor, A. I. D., & Gough, M. J. (2007). Initial Experience in Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) of Varicose Veins Due to Small Saphenous Vein Reflux. European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, 33(5), 614–618. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejvs.2006.10.030